LCDR David Bradley, USN (Ret.)
Lieutenant Commander Bradley joined the Navy in September of 1960 and served in the Reserves as a Quartermaster aboard the USS Hollidaysburg (PCS-1385) a 136-foot patrol craft out of Toledo, OH. With a small crew of 5 officers and 50 enlisted it was a chance to learn many skills. In April of 1967, he volunteered for active duty in Vietnam on Swift boats. He arrived in Coronado, CA in June of ’67 and was assigned to a crew as the senior petty officer, a 2nd Class Quartermaster. As the leading Petty Officer, he was responsible for the Watch, Quarter and Station Bill, controlled equipage, and in the case of a Quartermaster the timely update of charts for the assigned patrol area.
Arriving Coastal Division 13 in Cat Lo, Vietnam in September of 1967 he was assigned to PCF-36 on which he did 13 patrols. On his last patrol on PCF-36, they were caught in bad weather and while securing loose gear on the fantail a rogue wave hit the boat and he flipped and broke his shoulder and was in a figure 8 cast for 6 weeks. Shortly after Tet of ’68 he was reassigned to Coastal Division 15 and had been promoted to 1st Class Quartermaster and then moved to a staff position with Coastal Division 15. His responsibilities were as a member of the base Master-at-Arms and as a training Petty Officer for new crews coming in country. While with Coastal Division 15 he did a total of 39 patrols PCF-39 and subsequently did more than 100 patrols with various new crews.
Returning from Vietnam in September of 1968 he was assigned to the USS Shields (DD-596) and the USS Richmond K. Turner (DLG-20), a guided missile cruiser and left active duty in April of 1968. He immediately affiliated with the Naval Reserve and was a member of Inshore Undersea Warfare unit 105. Later advanced to Chief Petty Officer while in that unit and subsequently promoted to Chief Warrant Officer, in 1979 when he affiliated with the Naval Reserve Association and subsequently held various chapter, region, and national offices. Later he was assigned to the frigate USS Lang (FF-1060) as the Asst. CIC Officer. While assigned to the Lang he was selected for the Limited Duty Officer program. In 1999 at the rank of Lieutenant Commander he was recalled to active duty as the Maintenance and Repair Officer for Naval Coastal Warfare Group Two. This position was responsible for the material readiness and deployment plans of equipment and boats for more than 20 Naval Reserve units East of the Mississippi. After 9/11 he helped train many of these units which deployed numerous times as the seaward protection for Battle Groups in port in the Mediterranean and Middle East.
In 2002 he retired from the Navy and went to work for the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration as a Diversion Investigator and retired from that position in 2008. During this time Lieutenant Commander Bradley was a member of the transition team taking the Naval Reserve Association to its new role as the Association of the United States Navy and the voice of the American Sailor.
In November 2011, he was part of the team that went to Malta to do a “survey” of P-24 (former PCF-816). In July of 2012, the boat was loaded aboard a container ship from the Maersk line to transport the boat to Norfolk and she arrived in San Diego in August and the real work began! Participating with many other former Swiftboat sailors he helped restore her to operational condition at the Maritime Museum of San Diego where he continues to serve as a Docent aboard her for her weekend harbor cruises.
Lieutenant Commander Bradley has been a Chapter President, Region President, various National Vice Presidencies and now serves as the National President of the Association of the United States Navy.